Healing Attitude- Thankfulness
A recent article from Christian Counseling Associates reminds us that complaining can become a habit that leads to a loss of perspective. Complaining can be destructive, it has the potential to contribute to depression, anxiety, marital discord, or emotional breakdown. Complaining is a sin, it can separate us from God. It is important to examine our lives, and choose to root out any habit of complaining that may be operating in our life.
Psalm 107:8 says, “Oh, that man would give thankfulness to the Lord for his goodness” (NKJV). In this verse (which is repeated five times in this psalm), God passionately instructs us to put off complaining and put on genuine thankfulness.
A thankful attitude is healing, it can be a powerful agent in establishing emotional wholeness. A thankful attitude glorifies God, and it breaks the destructive habit of complaining that can keep us stuck in emotional problems and destructive behaviors. The reality is you can choose to be thankful, and began experiencing a new level of healing, a new level of living.
James McDonald in his book, “Lord, Change My Attitude” identifies three levels thankfulness that can lead to emotional healing:
1) Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV) reads, “continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” At this level, thankfulness is a sacrifice. We might say to ourselves, “okay, I know I ought to be thankful to God today, so I will just do it.” At this level there is not much joy, but at least there is an acknowledgment that we need to be thankful to God. This is often the first step.
2) 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) reads, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” At this level, it becomes possible to always find something to be thankful for. We now search for the opportunity to be thankful to God. This produces joy, a powerful antidote to emotional problems.
3) Ephesians 5:18, 20 (NIV) reads, “be filled with the Spirit… always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” At this level of thankfulness, we choose to trust God and be grateful in every circumstance, even in times of great hardship. This is when we have full maturity in our ability to give thanks.
This is the goal – to replace all complaining with this level of thankfulness. This kind of attitude, that is God-given, will be a solid foundation to face any life challenge.
To start developing a thankful attitude, take the following steps in your life:
1) Go to Church, and worship God on a weekly basis. Do this regardless of your life circumstance.
2) Pray to God daily – ask Him to help you on your journey of thankfulness. Without His power working in your life, you will not be successful. God is faithful, He will help you develop the attitude that you need.
3) Reflect constantly – am I choosing thankfulness over complaining moment by moment?
By reflecting on this information, you may find the next level of thankfulness in your life.
May God bless you as you seek a new level of thankfulness this week.